The Steel Curtain. The ’85 Bears. The Ravens with Ray Lewis.
These are some of the all-time great defenses.
But what about Seattle? The Seahawks held Peyton Manning and the Broncos to eight points in last year’s Super Bowl laugher, and this year, they’ve allowed an average of just 6.5 points per game in their last six games – all wins.
Is this defense the greatest of all time?
“You can put them in that conversation,” Fox Sports NFL and college football analyst Charles Davis said on Tiki and Tierney. “Because you have to remember, as you guys know – and I want everyone who’s listening to remember – you got to (consider) the era (in which each defense played) and the style of play it went up against. The Steel Curtain, as fantastic as they were, the rules were different. Mel Blount out on the corner literally beat people into submission. Look, he affected a rules change. The five-yard bump rule (came about in part) because of what Mel Blount did out on the corner – just beat people to death and they just couldn’t get there. One of the all-time great players that’s ever played. But no one threw the ball with the same proficiency that we throw now. It’d be interesting to see what would happen with the Steel Curtain if you spread them out.”
Just how good is Seattle’s defense? Let’s take a look at this past Sunday’s game against St. Louis. The Seahawks couldn’t get anything going offensively in the first half. In fact, they were shut out through two quarters.
But they only trailed by six at the break. Then they won, 20-6.
“That game on Sunday, their offense was getting nothing done,” Davis said. “Here’s your chance St. Louis. St Louis’ defense was really overpowering Seattle’s offense. Yet, at the end of the half, they had two field goals to show for it. That’s it. That’s why the game was where it was, and that’s why Seattle was able to be who they are. Their defense doesn’t flinch, doesn’t panic. The offense turned it over twice, and the Rams got one field goal out of the two turnovers. That defense is good.”
It’s also healthy. Bobby Wagner and Kam Chancellor are playing at an extremely high level since returning from injury, while Byron Maxwell remains one of the most underrated players in football.
Since being at full strength, Seattle has allowed just three touchdowns in its last six games.
“You could make a case that they should be discussed about as the best of their time, which puts them in the discussion of the best of all time,” Davis said. “(The) style of play (they face), and what they deal, and, oh yeah, everyone comes at them every week? I’d put them in the discussion.”
Switching quickly to the college ranks, Davis thinks bringing Jim Harbaugh back to Ann Arbor is a rock-star hire for Michigan – and the Big Ten in general. Harbaugh joins Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State) and James Franklin (Penn State) in the East, while the West has Jerry Kill (Minnesota), Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), Mike Riley (Nebraska) and Paul Chryst (Wisconsin).
“The East is where the GQ photo shoot takes place; the West, I’m over there taking pictures with them myself,” Davis joked. “No offense to any of the guys (in the West). I think they’re all terrific coaches and they will continue to do so. But the East is where all the intrigue is, and it’s elevated the Big Ten – and the Big Ten was desperately looking for that.”